Thursday, September 16, 2010

Secret Cafe: The Wellness House - Energize Cafe

The Energize Cafe in The Wellness House has to be my favorite place to eat in Orange, serving food till 3pm, its great for breakfast, lunch, or snacks in-between. Who knew I would become so attached to what is essentially a doctors waiting room? There is something truly special about Energizer, from its ability to make gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian and just plain healthy meals, look delectable and taste amazing, to the relaxed atmosphere of a good coffee and indulgent chocolate cake and they've done it all in a health centre. You don't have to be sick to need an excuse to eat here, I’d move in here if I could.

Secret Stay - De Russie Suites...ok not that secret

For the best sleep in Orange proper, you can’t go past De Russie Suites. I first stayed here soon after it first opened, on my initial voyage across the mountains. I recently refreshed my memory of it with a little ‘stay-cation’ over one weekend.  Little had changed, its still on a side street off the end of the main drag (Summer St.), it looks swish from the get go, even though the architect might have been inspired by Stalin’s concrete look for the USSR.  Weekend rates for a basic room start at a little over $150, this apparently includes breakfast - but I’ll get to that. The ‘apartment suites’, is not a hotel, although it is named after the ‘De Russie Hotel’ in Rome, as the receptionist told me. I prefer Venice myself, but a quick inquiry to an Italian friend lets me know that the De Russie Hotel is the epitome of luxury in Rome. These ‘Apartment Suites’ have a lot to live up to. 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Discovering Orange

One day I had a shocking revelation, it sent me reeling and left me slightly disturbed. Not once, not ever, had this Sydneysider ventured beyond the Blue Mountains or the Great Dividing Range in general. I can’t explain how this actually happened, I thought I’d seen the world - and well I have, at least a good chunk of it - but somehow venturing West just got missed.

This had to be rectified in that very instant...ok not quite that exact instant, but it became top of the list. Out came the map and as my fingered traveled the Great Western Highway out of the Blue Mountains and into the great expanse that is New South Wales, my finger came to an abrupt halt upon the town of Orange.